Purpose: The purpose of this article was to evaluate the long-term efficacy of a low-concentration (LC) atropine eye drop regimen (0.05%-0.1%) for controlling myopia progression in schoolchildren.
Methods: This retrospective, case-control study enrolled myopic schoolchildren who had been followed-up for at least 3 years from 1999 to 2007. Children who received LC doses of atropine eye drops [initial prescription 0.05%, if progression over -0.5 diopter (D) during a 6-month follow-up then changed to 0.1% atropine] every night at bedtime were included in the LC atropine group, and untreated children served as controls.
Results: A total of 117 children were included in this study. The mean age was 8.4 years. There were 97 children in the LC atropine group and 20 children in the control group. The mean follow-up duration was 4.5 years. In a mixed model analysis, the adjusted myopia progression in the LC atropine group was -0.23 D/year, significantly lower than that of the control group, which was -0.86 D/year (P<0.001). About 80% of the treatment group had slow myopia progression (less than -0.5 D progression per year). In a multivariate analysis, factors such as initial spherical refraction with less myopia and treatment with LC atropine were significantly associated with less myopia progression, but age, sex, and initial astigmatism were not significantly associated (P<0.001, P<0.001, P=0.442, 0.494, and 0.547, respectively).
Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that long-term and regular instillation of LC atropine eye drops is effective for controlling myopia progression and provides a possible strategy for an initial myopia regimen.